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Trump administration not as strongly pro-Russian as previously thought: Polish FM

PR dla Zagranicy
Roberto Galea 15.02.2017 13:42
The US administration under President Donald Trump is "not as strongly pro-Russian as previously thought", Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski has said.
US President Donald J. Trump (C) in the Oval Office. Photo: EPA/OLIVIER DOULIERYUS President Donald J. Trump (C) in the Oval Office. Photo: EPA/OLIVIER DOULIERY

On Tuesday, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said: “President Trump has made it very clear that he expects the Russian government to deescalate violence in the Ukraine and return Crimea.”

Spicer’s comments were made at a press conference following the sudden resignation of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.

Flynn stepped down after leaks surfaced earlier this week of him discussing US sanctions against Russia during a phone conversation with Russian ambassador to Washington Sergey Kislyak. Flynn had earlier misled the Vice President on the topic of the conversation.

Spicer said that the trust of the US president in his advisor had “eroded”, and Trump asked Flynn for his resignation.

The White House spokesman added that Trump would take a hard line on Russia. “He continues to raise the issue of Crimea, which the previous administration had allowed to be seized by Russia,” Spicer said.

Trump's “ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, stood before the UN Security Council on her first day and strongly denounced the Russian occupation of Crimea,” Spicer added.

Trump had in recent months indicated his admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin, tweeting that the former KGB agent was “very smart”.

Commenting on the recent developments in Washington, Waszczykowski said on Wednesday: “The members of the new administration, such as [defence secretary] General James Mattis as well as current Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, clearly declared their position and denounced Russia during Senate hearings.”

The 2014 Russian annexation of Crimean peninsula was denounced by NATO members at a summit in Warsaw in July. They declared that they “do not – and will not – recognise Russia’s illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea”.

The move by Moscow prompted Western countries, including the US and the European Union, to impose trade sanctions against Russia. (rg/pk)

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